It goes without saying that many of us would jump at the idea of having a furry friend to accompany us during school time.
But, for Mudgee Public Students, this cuddly dream has become a part of their normal day with Arnie, the 13 week old Labrador, the schools new therapy dog.
Research has concluded that by interacting with animals, it can encourage social interaction, trust, empathy and confidence..
"One of our parents breeds purebred Labradors and we've seen the research on the effectiveness of therapy dogs in schools so we thought it was a good avenue to explore, and see what benefits it brings," Mudgee Public School principal, Alan Kerr told the Mudgee Guardian.
We have a school with five support classes that sometimes has students with special needs and these sorts of therapy dogs have been very effective in being able to support these students with their learning.Mudgee Public School principal, Alan Kerr
While Arnie has only been at the school for a week, Kerr said the benefits of a school dog have already began to show.
"In the class he's in at the moment, they don't make too much noise because he spends most of his time sleeping," Alan said.
"They're not allowed to leave anything on the floor because he could pick it up and chew on it, so we've seen some short term benefits.
As time progresses and Arnie gets trained, I'm sure there will be further benefits we can explore throughout the school.
Arnie is expected to hold his position as MPS' therapy dog from anywhere between six to twelve months before he moves on to his next adventure.
"Eventually he will be placed with someone who requires an assistance dog, so our role is to make sure Arnie is ready for that particular role," Kerr said.